- Paperback: 378 pages
- Publisher: Broadway Books; Reprint edition (February 25, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781400047284
- ISBN-13: 978-1400047284
- ASIN: 1400047285
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 268 customer reviews
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- #497 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Ideologies & Doctrines > Conservatism & Liberalism
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Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative Paperback – February 25, 2003
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“A chilling portrait . . . of a partisan attack machine.”—Washington Post
“A key document for historians seeking to understand the ethos of the incoherent ’90s.”—New York Times
“A cracking good story . . . Blinded by the Right is . . . something that is owed not only from its author but also from the political cadre he has so spectacularly served and forsaken: an apology.”—The New Yorker
“Anyone wishing to understand America in the 1990s will have to read [Brock’s] book.”—Los Angeles Times
“A fascinating look into the murky world of the politics of personal destruction.”—USA Today
“A mea culpa for an entire era.”—New York Times Magazine
“You cannot fully understand this fevered era without reading this book.”—The Nation
“If you’re looking for proof of corruption and immoral behavior among the nation’s most famous conservatives—read this book.”—Bill Press, CNN
From the Inside Flap
In a powerful and deeply personal memoir in the tradition of Arthur Koestler's The God That Failed, David Brock, the original right-wing scandal reporter, chronicles his rise to the pinnacle of the conservative movement and his painful break with it.
David Brock pilloried Anita Hill in a bestseller. His reporting in "The American Spectator as part of the infamous "Arkansas Project" triggered the course of events that led to the historic impeachment trial of President Clinton. Brock was at the center of the right-wing dirty tricks operation of the Gingrich era-and a true believer-until he could no longer deny that the political force he was advancing was built on little more than lies, hate, and hypocrisy.
In Blinded By the Right, Brock, who came out of the closet at the height of his conservative renown, tells his riveting story from the beginning, giving us the first insider's view of what Hillary Rodham Clinton called "the vast right-wing conspiracy." Whether dealing with the right-wing press, the richly endowed think tanks, Republican political operatives, or the Paula Jones case, Brock names names from Clarence Thomas on down, uncovers hidden links, and demonstrates how the Republican Right's zeal for power created the poisonous political climate that culminated in George W. Bush's election.
Now in paperback and with a new afterword by the author, Blinded By the Right is a classic political memoir of our times.
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The author made his name defaming a great many people, among them Anita Hill. Abandoning all time honored journalistic principles and ethics, he wrote a book that set him on his trajectory to fame and fortune, "The Real Anita Hill", which the author now readily admits was largely false and a total smear campaign promulgated by the far right. He actually labeled her as "a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty". He later followed that success with breaking the "Troopergate" story, whereby Alabama state troopers allegedly pimped for then Governor Bill Clinton. Only now, the author states that, too, was not actually true, at all. These are only two of the more notorious and totally false stories the author promulgated in furtherance of far right wing agendas, making him for a time the undisputed darling of the conspiratorial far right. Then, he wrote a book about Hillary Rodham Clinton, which was lauded by critics as being even-handed in its analysis, since he apparently decided to adhere, for once, to journalistic principles and ethics. Almost overnight, the darling of the right became its pariah.
So, the author left the far right, came back out of the closet, and instead of being a hatchet man for the far right, he is now exposing them for what they are, a bunch of disgusting crazies, or at least that is how many of them appear to me after reading this book, which is rife with a lot of detail about many people in the political limelight and its wings, from politicians to political pundits, as well as writers, assorted hangers, and those with deep pockets to fund conspiracies promulgated by the far right.
The author writes well, and the book is a highly detailed and intriguing mea culpa. While what he writes rings true, his self-flagellation rings a bit hollow. After all, his repudiation of the far right only came about he became anathema to that movement, despite his slow disillusionment with it over time. Still, the author sheds a lot of light on the disturbing and troubling antics of the far right over the years, making the present state of our politics more understandable. It is a book worth reading for that reason alone.
While the book was written in the early 2000s, not much has changed since. It is now quite obvious that the same forces are marshaled in an all-out effort to derail the Obama Administration. They are at work trying to undo the Affordable Care Act; they have the pedal to the metal trying to keep the shameless criminal in the Wisconsin Governors' Mansion afloat and out of prison; they are working overtime to subvert our electoral process, including enacting state laws meant to suppress poor and minority voters. And perhaps most insidious, these same people are behind the electronic election tampering that has been increasingly used to ensure the defeat of popular Democrats since 1998.
All that being said, I demoted the book to four stars simply because it is a quagmire of repetitious and redundant names and relationships. I found myself, if not skipping passages, at least not always rereading things I hadn't grasped on the first round. Often I realized it was just more of the same repetitious stuff. The author could have told his story satisfactorily in about half the words.
Could not have been an easy book to write by Mr. Brock since he was deeply involved with this machine that set out to and in fact accomplished in ruining those lives.
The bottom line for the Republicans is to trick the general public into voting against their own interests with whatever kind of idealistic or emotional appeal seems timely. They can't talk about what's good for the lower and middle classes honestly because if they did so they would lose - so they resort to the tactics Brock himself was so good at. These are not the moderate Republicans of the 50's and 60's.
It looks as though the zeal of the 2011 Republicans is going to wear thin just like the Gingrich group did when Brock was with "The Spectator." I checked out Brock's activities since the publication of this book in 2002. In 2004, he formed a Progressive think tank, "Media Matters For America" - check it out. As clearly shown in "Blinded By The Right," progressives have a long way to go to match the machine the Republicans have, but it's a start.